Pair accused of unlawful hunting among three who resigned last week
By Joe Beck
Two of the three Warren County deputies who resigned last week while under investigation for alleged hunting violations have been charged in Warren County General District Court.
Former deputies Bradley Pugh and Michael A. Robinson were charged Tuesday with unlawful hunting. Pugh was also charged with hunting, trapping or fishing without a license and leaving wanton waste.
The charges, all misdemeanors that carry fines but no jail time, were filed by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries as a result of an investigation conducted last week.
Capt. K.C. Clarke said Tuesday his agency filed no charges against a third former deputy, Eric Ramey.
"Our investigation showed there was no involvement on his part that would warrant a charge being placed against him," Clarke said.
Clarke said leaving wanton waste usually involves someone killing a deer and then failing to dispose of the carcass properly "so far as not making use of the meat."
Pugh and Robison are scheduled to appear in general district court at 10 a.m. Dec. 4. Both were released upon receiving their court summons, according to online state court records.
Clarke confirmed earlier statements from Front Royal Police Chief Norman Shiflett and Warren County Sheriff Daniel T. McEathron that his agency was called in to investigate on Nov. 3, the same date of the alleged offenses.
"We were notified by an officer with the Front Royal Police Department," Clarke said.
McEathron said earlier that the three voluntarily resigned from the Sheriff's Office on Nov. 5, two days after the alleged violations were reported.
Shiflett said Front Royal Police Capt. R. Clint Keller called investigators after discovering the three may have been hunting illegally near his home within the town limits.
Sportsmen need to obtain permission from the state to hunt within the town limits under a deer management plan adopted by the town and the department of game and inland fisheries.
Shiflett said his agency turned the investigation over to state game officials to avoid the appearance of any favoritism or conflict of interest.
Clarke called the case "an unfortunate incident that we had to handle in a professional manner, and that's what we did."
Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or firstname.lastname@example.org